1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Throughout Placement I was given a variety of work that allowed me to gain experience on different areas of the software. I was also able to apply some of the knowledge gained at university to my work, and got to develop my interpersonal and presentation skills daily. I was also given the opportunity to learn coding, which allowed me to complete work in more areas of the software.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was assigned to one of the development teams, and was treated as a full time member from the beginning. As my experience with the software grew, I felt I was depended on a lot more, and the work I was given became more relevant to the work that the team was developing.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was assigned a Supervisor within my team with whom I had weekly individual meetings where I could bring up any issues I was facing or ask about things I was unsure about. I also had monthly meetings with my Manager where we discussed the work done throughout the month and arranged any details required for university.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The workload I was given was usually quite balanced, and had things to do without being extremely busy. There were times were I did have to ask for more work, and others were work did pile up and I had to learn to prioritise which tasks to do first.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As I gained more experience with the software, I was given the opportunity half-way through Placement to run the meetings for one of the specialised teams in the Office for a few months, and I participated in planning meetings for this team. I also took part in the training of the newest member of my team, giving him an introduction to the software.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I think the interpersonal and presentation skills I have developed throughout the year have helped me become more confident and have improved my communication. This will be especially useful in my final year project at university, but this set of skill is quite useful to have and will definitely use them in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was serious but friendly. Unless someone had high priority work in progress or were extremely busy, our colleagues were happy to help us with our work, especially through the first few months of Placement. Also, it was common to meet with other people during breaks in the kitchen and have short chats with them, which was quite refreshing and helped us integrate in the office.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was organised quite well. When we started Placement, we had a week of Introduction to the company and the software, and a month handover period with the previous interns where we were trained in areas of the software more applicable to our roles. Overall, we were treated as any other employee and were given work based on the focus of each team.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
At the beginning of Placement, we attended a few company provided courses on how to be more productive and improving communications with others by looking at our personality traits, and an introduction to the different software developed by the company. We could spend a few hours a week on personal training, and the company provided an account to access online courses we could use to develop our skills in any particular area, for example, programming.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
If I were involved in more in-depth work a bit more related to engineering, I would like to come back to work for the company after finishing University.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
We were 5 student interns in total. Although we didn't meet very often outside work, we did get together to go for lunch and walks around the office (which is in the middle of countryside) and we did enjoy a few long lunches in a nearby pub. We met a few times outside work which were very enjoyable.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Our office was in the middle of the countryside, so there were not many socialising costs there. I did live in Milton Keynes, in a rented room. The average living cost per month could probably be around £500-550, including food expenses (based on personal experience). Socialising costs would vary depending on what activities you took part in.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife close to the office was pretty much non-existent as there were only a few pubs around you had to access by car, and we generally not meet up around the office. When us interns met up after work, we usually went to Milton Keynes (3 of us lived there), where there are more options of pubs and restaurants to go to.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Working hours were 9-5 Monday to Friday, and were not required to take work home, leaving our evenings and weekends free to do whatever activities we wanted to. I signed up for the gym and used my weekends to go around the centre of Milton Keynes or meeting up with family and friends.